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"Mother"
Tori-Amos Little-Earthquakes
Song from the album Little Earthquakes

Released

1992

Length

6:59

Label

Atlantic Records, East West Records

Writer

Tori Amos

Producer

Davitt Sigerson

"Mother" is the seventh song on Tori Amos's 1992 debut album Little Earthquakes.

Background Edit

"Mother" was originally titled "Somebody Leave the Light On" and written and recorded during the first phase of creating Little Earthquakes. This period also yielded the songs "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Happy Phantom", "Leather", and "Winter", all of which were also recorded at Capitol Records and produced by Davitt Sigerson. Under its final name of "Mother", the song was included on a cassette Tori submitted for copyright in June 1990.[1]

Tori began writing "Mother" early in the morning in her Los Angeles apartment, and Eric Rosse was present at that time:

Mother was written at 6:30, 7:00 in the morning. We were on a futon in the little place I had at the time in Hollywood, and I got up really early and started meandering on the piano. I meandered for about 25 minutes and I started to get this... [hums the intro to "Mother"] ... and I hear this voice from the futon, ‘What’s that!’ And I said, ‘Oh, it’s shit. Forget about it.’ And he yells, ‘Play it again!’[2]
"Mother" was written to be the "polar opposite" of "Winter", which "represented not just the father, but the grandfather — Papa, my mother's father ... I felt like this ["Mother"] needed to go beyond the human mother ... to ideas of Creatrix and that God is not just male, but of the Creator being female and male".[3]

According to Tori, the recurring lyric "Mother the car is here" represents "arriving on a place like earth, where that energy is very dark and attractive and sensual. That’s also a part of us. If you try to separate those things strictly, like light and dark, like those New-Age people do, then you are acting superior ... You have to unify those two things, that’s what I tried to do [in the song]".[2]

Live performances Edit

"Mother" was first performed during the 1992 Little Earthquakes Tour and has been played on all of Tori's tours since.[4] The song has always been performed alone by Tori on piano.

Live performances of "Mother" have been included on The Original Bootlegs and Legs & Boots.

Alternate and remastered versions Edit

An alternate mix of "Mother" was included on Disc A of the 2006 boxset A Piano: The Collection. The song was remastered for the reissue of Little Earthquakes in 2015.

Lyrics Edit

Go go go go now Out of the nest, It's time Go go go now Circus girl without a safety net Here here now Don't cry You raised your hand for the assignment Tuck those ribbons under your helmet Be a good soldier First my left foot Then my right behind the other Pantyhose Running in the cold

Mother the car is here Somebody leave the light on Black Chariot for the redhead Dancing dancing girl And when I dance for him Somebody leave the light on just in case I like the dancing I can remember where I come from

I walked into your dream And now I've forgotten how to dream my own dream You are the clever one aren't you Brides in veils for you We told you all of our secrets All but one So don't you even try The phone has been disconnected Dripping with blood And with time And with your advice Poison me against the moon

Mother the car is here Somebody leave the light on Black Chariot for the redhead Dancing dancing girl And when I dance for him Somebody leave the light on just in case I like the dancing I can remember where I come from

I escape into your escape Into our very favorite fearscape It's across the the sky And across my heart And I cross my legs Oh my God First my left foot Then my right behind the other Breadcrumbs lost under the snow Mother Mother the car is here Somebody leave the light on Somebody leave the light on just in case I like the dancing Mother

Personnel Edit

Credits taken from Little Earthquakes and A Piano liner notes.[5][6]

  • Acoustic piano, vocal, backgrounds — Tori Amos
  • Recorded by John Beverly Jones
  • Produced by Davitt Sigerson
  • Alternate Mix on A Piano: The Collection mixed in 1992 by John Beverly Jones

References Edit

  1. http://www.yessaid.com/interviews/92-09Keyboard2.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.yessaid.com/talk/9mother.html
  3. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/tori-amos-track-by-track-guide-to-little-earthquakes-20091218#ixzz3dQJVF8JP 
  4. http://www.toriset.org/s.php?c=109&t=0
  5. http://www.yessaid.com/leliner.html
  6. https://web.archive.org/web/20061113075309/http://everythingtori.com/go/galleries/view/164/2/4/albums